AB 1455: Regain local control of Ontario International Airport
The military airfield that became Ontario Airport (ONT) was transferred to the City of Ontario by the federal government in 1949 at no cost, conditioned on it remaining a public airport in perpetuity. In 1967, the City of Los Angeles and the City of Ontario entered into a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) that allowed Los Angeles to become the airport operator.
When the Ontario Airport was transferred to LA, the passenger traffic count was 3.7 million. In 1999, the first year that the new terminals were open, passenger traffic was 6.6 million peaking in 2007 to 7.2 million. Since that time, passenger service has decreased to less than 4 million.
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) has focused management, financial and marketing resources on LAX at the expense of Ontario. LAX has had four record-breaking years of passenger growth which culminated in 71.4 million passengers last year alone.
And while Los Angeles is thriving, the facts show that our community is hurting. The decline in passenger traffic at Ontario resulted in the loss of 10,700 jobs last year. An alarming report released last week estimates that the decline of Ontario International Airport has resulted in a $2.6 billion loss to the region’s economy.
Ontario and Los Angeles are in negotiations to transfer the airport back to Ontario, but negotiations have stalled, largely due to disagreements over the price. AB 1455 helps to facilitate the transfer of ONT and bring our airport back home where it belongs.
AB 1455 will:
- Allow the City of Ontario to issue bonds to transfer control of Ontario International Airport back to the City of Ontario
- Create local jobs and revitalize the economy of the Inland Empire.